Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Robyne Elder

Second Advisor

Dr. Roger Nasser

Third Advisor

Dr. Tammy Moore


Since the release of the Missouri Model for Trauma-Informed Schools approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in 2019, school leaders were given the opportunity to start the process of meeting the emotional and fundamental needs of students. With the effects of trauma reaching all diverse groups of race, gender, economic status, and community surroundings, there is an increased need to use the education system to reach students emotionally. Though the model is a blueprint for schools, school districts are not required to adopt this model and implement it within their districts. Due to the recent pandemic, trauma has reached everyone across the world. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused some type of disruption to everyday life and social norms. Other traumas that children in the community have faced include incarceration, abuse, and neglect. Saint Louis, where this study took place, poverty is higher than that of the national and state averages. This mixed-methods study examined how different types of schools and roles within education systems used trauma-informed practices and how participants believe these practices can dismantle the ongoing effects of the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Through interviews and surveys, the researcher examined various types of questions to reflect how public, private, and charter schools and teachers, administrators, and support staff understand and implement these practices. The survey and interview addressed the definition of trauma, if and how participants use trauma-informed practices, as well as their discipline methods. There were just under 200 participants included across the city of St. Louis in public, private, and charter schools. To analyze this the researcher used the survey to differentiate between administration and staff, public, charter, and private school employees, and those who identify as trauma informed and those who do not identify as trauma-informed. Using an ANOVA, the researcher analyzed survey questions. This analysis found there is no difference in their level of understanding as it pertains to trauma-informed practices. However, there was a significant difference in how participants enforce them and how fair and consistently they address students’ social and emotional needs. The researcher recommends that school leaders work together to create consistency and accountability for their staff and students.


Copyright 2022, Jennifer Gabrian

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